Tropeano Terrific as Baseball Holds Off Coast Guard in NEWMAC Series Opener

Kyle Wood

Northboro, MA --- Junior Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) batted 4-for-4 and drove in a pair as part of a five-run seventh inning that separated WPI and Coast Guard in the Engineers 11-9 NEWMAC triumph Friday at the New England Baseball Complex.

WPI (11-15, 3-8 NEWMAC) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as sophomore Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD) sent a sacrifice fly to left and senior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) followed with an RBI double. The Bears cut the deficit in half thanks to an RBI single to left by sophomore Jon Pressley (Austin, TX) in the second.

Coast Guard (6-15, 0-10) went ahead for the first time in the third as sophomore Alex Cordes (Delray Beach, FL) doubled in a run before scoring on a wild pitch. The Engineers reclaimed the advantage in the fourth courtesy of back-to-back run-producing singles by Tropeano and senior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA).

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Pressley collected two more RBI as Coast Guard went ahead 5-4. Tropeano evened the game at 5-5 with a sacrifice fly while junior Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) scored on a miscue to make it 6-5 Engineers through six.

Junior Jeremy Lhotka (Orange Park, FL) singled in a run and Pressley sent a sacrifice fly to left for the Bears final lead in the top of the seventh. WPI went ahead for good and built a four-run cushion with two outs in the home half of the inning. Junior Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ) began with the tying RBI knock to right center. Sophomore David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) swiped home while Tropeano drove in a two, including what proved to be the game-winning run, with a single to right. Junior Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) finished the scoring with an RBI single to left.

Coast Guard scored two in the ninth on consecutive singles by junior Reed Jenkins (Brown Summitt, NC) and freshman Tom Ankers (Manassas, VA).

Tropeano also totaled four RBI and two runs scored while junior Josh Herlands (Glastonbury, CT) went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. Sophomore Kyle Wood (Hauppauge, NY) pitched a hitless 1 1/3 and picked up the win for WPI.

Junior Luke Thompson (San Ramon, CA) and senior Alex Murdoch (San Ramon, CA) each batted 3-for-4 as Lhotka (walk, RBI 2 runs), Pressley (4 RBI, run) and Jenkins (RBI) all collected a pair of hits for Coast Guard. The Bears pitching staff, led by freshman PJ Gravalec (Marietta, GA) struck out six batters.

The NEWMAC West series moves to New London, CT for two tomorrow beginning at noon.